Hurricane Season 2014: Atlantic System No Serious Threat

Categories: Hurricanes

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Weather Underground
No real threat to us.
Invest 93L, as designated by the National Hurricane Center, is not terribly impressive. Despite predictions it would be nearing tropical storm strength by now, it has floundered, fighting with dry air in the area north of the storm and high wind shear. Would be Tropical Storm Bertha is simply not all that impressive at the moment.

In fact, the NHC has lowered its previous forecast for 93L to only a 40 percent chance of development. As the disturbance moves west northwest over the next two days, it should encounter more favorable conditions, which increases the likelihood of development. Even if that happens, there is a good chance it will interact with land in the northern Caribbean, slowing its progress.

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Hurricane Season 2014: Tropics Finally Heating Up as August Approaches

Categories: Hurricanes

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Weather Underground
Forecast prediction models for Invest 93L.
The National Hurricane Center has designated and area of low pressure in the eastern Atlantic as Invest 93L. It gives these designations throughout hurricane season to make note of systems that have the potential to develop. It is currently giving 93L a 40 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression in the next few days as it moves westward towards the Lesser Antilles.

Of the primary reliable forecast models, only one is predicting 93L will not develop leaving the NHC to conclude there is greater likelihood 93L could be a depression or possibly Tropical Storm Bertha by this weekend.

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Hurricane Season 2014: Tropical Depression No. 2 Not Long for This World

Categories: Hurricanes

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Star Trek's No. 2 is a lot tougher than the depression in the Atlantic.
The tiny tropical depression -- the second of the 2014 hurricane season -- continues to speed westward toward the Caribbean, but with each passing day, it is losing the characteristics of a storm rather than gaining strength. Despite having some relatively good conditions, No. 2 is looking pretty raggedy, and rather inhospitable conditions await it as it continues west.

With higher wind shear and stable air forecast to remain over the eastern Caribbean, it is unlikely No. 2 will survive more than a couple more days before dissipating entirely.

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Hurricane Seasons 2014: Second Tropical Depression of the Year Spins Up in the Atlantic

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Tropical Depression Two's status after a few days is in doubt.
With less than two weeks remaining in July, the 2014 hurricane season, we have our second storm of the year in the Atlantic. The peak of the season is in the second week of September, but the end of July is generally when things begin to heat up over the Atlantic Basin.

This second depression of the year -- Hurricane Arthur battered the east coast of the U.S. over the July 4 weekend -- is small, fairly weak and sitting over relatively cool waters. In fact, the most reliable forecast models are not calling for the depression to intensify and the National Hurricane Center is actually predicting it will dissipate not long after it reaches the Caribbean in a couple days.

Given the predictions earlier in the year of a strong El Niño event in the Pacific Ocean, which normally stifles the formation of hurricanes throughout the Atlantic Basin, the year so far is shaping up as expected, but there is still nearly 10 weeks remaining in the heart of hurricane season.

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Hurricane Season 2014: Tropical Storm Arthur Forms as the "Real" Season Begins

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Photo by Craig ONeal
Tropical Storm Fay pounding Florida in 2008. This is expected to be an easy hurricane season. But remember, it takes only one.
Tracking forecast for Tropical Storm Arthur.The first named tropical storm of 2014 formed in the Atlantic Ocean Monday. Tropical Storm Arthur formed off the coast of Florida and is expected to move gradually to the north and ultimately northeast over the next three to four days. Currently, forecasts are not calling for a landfall along the east coast (you don't have to panic, NYC) though Arthur is expected to reach at least category 1 hurricane strength as it passes the Carolinas, making for a rather wet and nasty weekend in that part of the country, particularly on the Outer Banks.

Thus marks the true beginning to hurricane season. June was very quiet in the tropical Atlantic, which was not surprising by this or any other year's standards. On average, about one named storm every other year forms in June. But, as the summer progresses and water temperatures began to warm up, it is time to cast a watchful eye on the tropics.

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Group Talks Multibillion Coastal Barrier We Hope We Don't Need (but Probably Do)

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Photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
For a few billion this too could be shored up against a storm surge.
Earlier this month the Bay Area Coastal Protection Alliance met to discuss a plan that would keep us (and our energy industry) from going underwater in the event of a catastrophic storm surge. Unfortunately, according to storm watchers, the Gulf Coast is likely to get hit by a major storm every 15 years or so.

"In 2008, Hurricane Ike caused loss of life and more than $35 billion (to date) in property and environmental damage, even without a direct hit," Vic Pierson, vice president of the alliance said in a statement. "The original forecast predicted 25-foot storm surges that could have killed hundreds, left thousands homeless and jobless and caused economic damage around $100 billion."

The group's proposal is to build a multi-billion dollar coastal barrier system, one that includes specially constructed sand dunes.

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Hurricane Season 2014: Predictions Call for Below Average Year

Categories: Hurricanes

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Could El Niño keep this hurricane season below normal?
To borrow and mangle a quote from Groundhog Day, "Well, it's hurricane season...again." Beginning June 1, anyone who lives along the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea or Atlantic Ocean starts to cast a wary eye on the tropics. As the temperatures warm up through summer, so does most of the Atlantic Basin, generating the energy necessary to produce tropical storms and hurricanes. But there are many factors that influence the development of those storms, which leads to unpredictability. Still, every year, forecasters trot out their preseason predictions.

Before getting too deep into those, it's important to note the factors that go into the development of hurricanes. If you live on the Gulf Coast, it is information worth knowing.

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Say Goodbye to Hurricanes (Say Goodbye My Baby)

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For you youngsters.
With apologies to Billy Joel, I doubt anyone along the Texas coastline is as sad to see hurricane season go as he was to part with Los Angeles, but for several weeks now, hurricane season for our neck of the woods has been done. And while hurricane season officially runs through the end of November, the entire Atlantic Basin has had a dud of a year when it comes to tropical weather.

According to an expert from Texas A&M's Department of Atmospheric Sciences, dry air has mainly been the culprit, but we still managed 11 named storms thus far even if there haven't been any large hurricanes or landfalls.

"We started off the season with several back in June and July, but then August and September, usually the most active months, were very slow," explains TAMU storm expert Robert Korty in a press release.

"If you had to point to one reason, it would be dry air. The dry air coming across the Atlantic from Africa prevented a lot of storms from developing during August, and the ones that did develop were not very strong. So the result has been a hurricane season of about normal in number of storms, but these have been relatively weak ones so far."

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Weather Week: As the Cool Weather Moves in, Wave Goodbye to Hurricane Season

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Photo by Daniel Kramer
Until next year, hurricane season. Until next year.
Recently, we wrote about the anniversary of Hurricane Ike and showed you just how much has changed with then and now photos. Another devastating hurricane, Carla, had its anniversary recently as well. While this year has mostly been a dud, we still have a couple months officially left in the season. Fortunately, we won't have to worry about it, but more on that in a moment.

The weekend brought rain...a lot of rain. Most of the Houston area got at least 2 inches of rain and as much as 5, though one area reportedly got 7. That won't get us completely out of the clutches of drought conditions, but it sure helps. Along with the rain came decidedly cooler temperatures dipping into the mid-60s Sunday morning.

It's going to warm up through the middle of the week all the way back up to the mid 90s before another cool front approaches early next week. Rain chances should increase ahead of the front by the weekend. If forecasters are right -- and it's a long ways out for an accurate forecast -- we could see low temperatures in the 50s by the middle of next week.

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Weather Week: Tropics Should Begin to Die Down, but Rain Chances Increase

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It's almost over.
The Houston area received a good dose of rain Monday afternoon as our typical warm, muggy and occasionally rainy summer forecast played out. Still, we are way behind where we need to be when it comes to precipitation. We may not be at 2011 levels of drought, but we are very dry regardless. Any rainfall is a blessing.

On that note, it looks as if we may get more rain this week, particularly as we head towards the weekend. By Friday, forecasts are calling for as much as a 70 percent chance of the wet stuff. Until then, expect the same heat, humidity and chances for showers every day. Highs should be in the low to mid 90s until cloud cover takes over late in the week and we seem them drop to the upper 80s.

Now that we are past the midway point in September, temperatures should quickly start moving downward. Don't expect any 75-degree days this month, but afternoons nearly 100 should certainly be over for the year.

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